Depressive symptomatology in women and residential proximity to high-voltage transmission lines

Am J Epidemiol. 1994 Jan 1;139(1):58-63. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a116935.


A number of epidemiologic studies indicate an association between depression and proximity to high-voltage transmission lines. These studies have been criticized, however, for using surrogate measures of electromagnetic fields and unstandardized measures of depression. In an effort to overcome these limitations, the authors administered the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale (CES-D) in 1992 to 152 women in Orange County, California, who lived either adjacent to a transmission line or one block away. The results indicated that the average magnetic field level is 4.86 mG at the front door of homes adjacent to transmission lines and 0.68 mG at the front door of homes one block away. There was no significant difference in CES-D scores between the groups when demographic variables were controlled for. The homogeneity of the study population may limit the generalizability of findings.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • California / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors